Parent, teacher, and child can all be impacted by adoption related issues. Parents wonder how much to tell schools. Teachers need to create assignments sensitive to adoptive and foster care families. And, children wonder if having been adopted will make them different.
In the early years of school, it's often beneficial for schools to know about any possible adoption related issues that your child might have so that they can mitigate the impact. If a child has been internationally adopted, there may be language-related issues to be dealt with. If a foster child has been adopted, there may be questions from other students about the change of last name. For a child suffering from the aftermath of trauma and neglect in their early years, they may need special accommodations to help overcome these issues.
Teachers can be blind sided by adoption related issues if they give out assignments that may be inappropriate for a child who was adopted. Or, if a child needs to miss school due to special therapies that are needed to help the child, they need to be aware of the situation.
Children have varying issues about being adopted depending on their personality, age at adoption, stages of their life, and more. They may be uneasy talking about having been adopted, or they might share about it at every opportunity.
Families need to determine what needs to be shared with schools throughout their child's school years. Teachers need to develop adoption-sensitive materials. And children need to be empowered to talk about being adopted or not.
For many years, adoption meant bringing a newborn into your home, to love and cherish as if you'd given birth to them. Nowadays, adoption means bringing a four, nine, or twelve year old into your family and celebrating the many ways that families can be created.
Older child adoption provides parents with an opportunity to learn about their child's interests, health, and abilities before they adopt. What medical conditions do they have? How do they interact with their peers? Are they attached to a particular caregiver or foster parent?
Along with the benefits of adopting older kids there can be challenges. Due to difficulties in their early years, older kids may suffer from issues of trauma and stress, have difficulty with attachment and bonding, or may have undiagnosed physical or mental health issues.
The most successful older child adoptions tend to include the following: parents who are educated before adoption about potential challenges, honest disclosure of a child's health and history, the ability of parents to resolve differences between their expectations and the reality of their child, parents who are able to combine structure with affection, and, support by extended family and friends.
For those considering older child adoption, become educated about both the positives and the negatives of older child adoption. For those parenting older adopted kids, search out the support and resources needed to raise a child to be a successful, well-adjusted addition to society.
Older child adoption can be an exciting, fulfilling way to grow a family. Without knowledge and education, however, parents adopting older kids may struggle until they find the resources that they and their child are in need of. When those resources and supports are in place, parents and children in older child adoptive families can grow together in love and joy.